KMazing – South Korean maybe famous for it’s romantic drama or movie, but the industry is not just hinge on romantic theme, there are plenty other aspect that boost the fame of South Korean Cinema. One of them is the movie with horror genre which always succeeded in taking the breath away from the audience. Korean horror-thriller is also not less frightening compare with the films of neighboring countries such as Japan or Thailand film.
Indeed, since the boom of J-Horror in the early 2000s, horror films in the Asian region are often compared to Japanese films. Especially with the appearance of Ringu or The Grunge Hollywood version that spark the interest to horror themed movie from Asia is increasing.
Until this year, South Korean film such as The Wailing got their screening at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which is huge acknowledgement of the quality in Horror/Thriller Film Made in Korea and we can’t forget Train to Busan which successfully broke through the Box Office and received appreciation from film critics, proving that Korean horror-thriller also did not lose to any other country and that they are capable in expanding their horizon over the usual romance and mellow drama.
Here are our best pick of South Korean Films that adopted thriller or Horror genre in their story plot. One thing to point out to all of you guys, take a blanket before start to watch these movie.
Cinderella is played by Do Ji Won (Yoon Hee), Shin Se Kyung (Hyeon Su), Yoo Da In (Su Kyoung), Cheon So Min (Hye Won), Ahn Ah Yeong (Jae Hui), and Jo Sung Ha (Dad Hyeon Su) told the story of a plastic surgeon. Yoon Hee is a plastic surgeon. Previously there has been an accident that resulted in her son Hyeon Su suffered severe burns. Then Yoon Hee meets a little girl and asks her to come home. Then she told the orphan to call her, mother.
The orphaned girl is so close to Yoon Hee and they love each other. Long story short strange things starts to happen. A visible appearance of a woman wearing a blue dress. These strange events are all the because of the work of Yoon Hee while doing plastic surgery.
19The Evil Twin (2007)
The Evil Twin directed by Kim Ji-hwan and starring Park Shin Hye as So-yeon and Jae Hee as Hyun-sik. When an accident kills her twin sister, So-yeon falls into a coma where she wakes up ten years later. However, a series of mysterious killings began to occur after she was healed, and she start to behaving like her twin sister. However, it is revealed that someone who was killed on the lake ten years ago is not Hyo-jin but So-yeon and the twin who are still alive are Hyo-jin. The secret is concealed by her mother, who tells the villagers that Hyo-jin is dead, but the frightening spirit of the False Hyo-jin (So-Yeon) returns to take someone to live in the lake with her.
The next horror film on our list is “Acacia”, released in 2003, tells story of a couple who longed for the presence of a baby until they finally decided to adopt a boy.
But after the presence of the boy, there are some peculiarities happening in their life, especially what the boys show, and he is also very interested in the Acacia tree that grows in front of their house.
Until finally, the wife was pregnant and gave birth, but their adopted son became more and more and even more obsessed with the Acacia tree. Because of that, the husband finally decided to cut down the Acacia tree. BIG MISTAKE !
17The Wig (2005)
The Wig tells the story of a young woman named Soo-hyeon who has cancer. Her silent sister, Ji-hyeon, is very concerned about her. Ji-hyeon also buys a wig for Soo-hyeon so they can walk around together and enjoy the time left in her live. But without them knowing it, the wig was cursed. Soo-hyeon’s health is getting better and the mystery begins to unfold.
16A Blood Pledge (2009)
Our ext horror film korea is “A Blood Pledge”. The film, released in 2009, tells the story of four girls who make terrible agreements with each other that they decide to commit suicide together at night.
The terrible agreement is signed by their own blood and if there are any survivors, then throughout their life, they will be haunted by the souls of those who died during the suicide. Unexpectedly, it turns out that only one female student jumped to suicide and died. And there goes the mystery start.
15Muoi : The Legend of a Portrait (2007)
The next horror South Korean film with the quality of scaring the shit out of you is “Muoi”. The film, released in 2007, is a collaboration between South Korea and Vietnam that tells the story of the legend of a woman who inhabits a painting that supposedly wanted to take revenge.
The story begins when Yoon He who is a novelist from South Korea went to Vietnam to seek for new inspiration for her second book. Then her long-time friend in Vietnam told of a female legend named “Muoi”.
Due to Yoon He’s interest in the legend of a woman named Muoi, she is often haunted by Muoi’s spirit and during her researching tim and digging information regarding Moui, Yoon He also finds new facts. Terrifying fact !
14Living Dead (2009)
Living Dead is directed by Lee Yong Joo-I and stars Nam Sang Mi as Hee Jin, Kim Bo-yeon as Mother, and Shim Eun Kyung as So Jin. A female student named Hee Jin (Nam Sang Mi) returns to her home when her 14-year-old sister So Jin (Shim Eun Kyung) disappears. His mother, a fanatical church follower, prayed and refused to work with the police that are reluctant to find So Jin. Meanwhile, a neighbor kills himself and leaves a will for So Jin, and Hee Jin hears a lot of rumors that his sister has conceded a demon. Place where So Jin is becoming increasingly elusive and his dead neighbor starts to appear in Hee Jin’s dreams.
13Mad Sad Bad (2014)
This film is an omnibus or a film consisting of three stories. All of the three are horror and zombie themes. The first story revolves around a teenager who is addicted to video games and she is asked to kill her boyfriend herself.
The second story revolves around a time when humans and zombies co-existed. Yet the zombie’s position is more like a slave. The third story is about two brothers who are aged 6 years and 8 years old. Due to his brother ruin his comic book, the brother decided to go on picnic into the forest and leave his own brother there.
12Wishing Stairs (2003)
The Wishing Stairs starred by Kim So Hee (Park Han Byeol) and also her best friend Yoon Jin Sung (Song Ji Hyo) who attended a ballet school. This film tells of a legend of the ladder that can grant any request. The legend says that when a person who has been on the 29th step the spirit will grant their spoken request. Once, there is a ballet competition with the prize that the winner will be given a way to enter famous Russian ballet academy. Because of the competition, the friendship of the two lovebirds began to be solved. So Hee has a great chance to win that opportunity. However, Jin Sung also wants to win the competition and hopes to beat her best friend.
Jin Sung finally came to the legendary staircase because she saw her friend, Eon Hae Ju (An Jo) who used to be fat and not beautiful changed suddenly and became skinny and beautiful after stating the request on the ladder. Upon arriving at the stairs Jin Sung asks to beat So Hee. But apparently the request resulted in the dead of her friend.
The movie is directed and written by Ahn Byeong-ki and starrring Ha Ji-Won and Kim Yu-Mi. This film’s story plot is a complicated love story that involves many ghosts. After writing a series of articles on pedophilia, journalist Ji-won received a threatening phone call and had to changed her cell phone number. Ho-jung’s close friend and her husband Chang-hoon take Ji-won to move to their home in the empty and closed Bang Bae. When Young-Su’s girl’s daughter answers a phone call on Ji-won’s phone, the girl shouts and her behavior changes, feels great appeal to her father and refuses her mother.
Meanwhile, Ji-won receives strange phone calls, sees and listens to a teenager playing “Moonlight Sonata” with piano. After investigating her phone number, Ji-won finds out that the original owner of the number is, Jin-hee, who has disappeared and the two owners of the next number have mysteriously died under unnatural conditions.
In 2005, this South Korean horror film got it’s premier screening in United States at the prestigious event of New York Korean Film Festival. The film, titled “Bunshinsaba” tells the story of a child and her blind mother who recently moved to Seoul.
The child is often harassed by her friends, and to repay their action, Yu Jin with her two other friends using the Oujia board to summon spirits and ask the spirit to give a curse to the friends who often disturbs them.
The rule was, when calling on the spirit, one is not allowed to open their eyes, but Yu Jin breaks the rule, where when the process of calling the spirit she opens her eyes, the incident resulted with the spirit called will always follow Yu Jin and use her body to avenge her accident.
The movie Cello is directed by Woo-cheol Lee and stars Hyeon-a Seong, Da-an Park, and Ho-bin Jeong. The cello player and Mi-Ju Hong teacher are visited by Sun-Ae’s colleagues and friends who hold a professorship at a well-known institution, and give an invitation to Hae-Young Kim’s concert, the sister of a former best friend at Tae-Yeon Kim’s school who died in an accident car.
Before leaving the building, she was threatened by her former student who failed the exam. When she returns home, she runs away from an accident on the road and arrives at her home, there she gets a surprise birthday party from husband and prosecutor Jun-Ki, her daughters Yoon-Jin and young Yoon-Hye Song, and brother-in-law Kyung Ran, whose fiance is in Manhattan undergoing an MBA program.
The next morning, her husband hired maid, a very strange woman. While shopping with Yoon-Jin, the girl is mesmerized by a cello and Mi-Ju decide to buy the instrument. There, the horror and mystery start creeping out their home
8Four Horror Tales: Roommates (2006)
Four Horror Tales: Roomates is the 3rd movie of 4 horror film series with 4 different directors but with same producer, Ahn Byeong-ki.
The film tells the story of four new ladies entering the life of college and living in a dorm room. The place where they need to adapt to new environment and binding dormitory rules and accepting personality differences among the four women which make it difficult to unite even as a room-mate.
The tension begins to increase as one of them, Yoo-jin who is considered the most difficult one in socializing begin to get a mysterious vision of what ever happened on their campus. Since then Yoo-jin lives in fear, as well as the 3 other women.
7The Priests (2015)
The movie, starring Kang Dong-won, Kim Yun-seok and Park So-dam. Telling about a girl who is possessed by a mysterious spirit. And as the title suggests, The Priest or the priest and the Deaecon Choi (Kang Dong-won) are trying to save the girl by exorcising her. But what a turned out ! their effort actually take them to a more serious problem.
6Death Bell (2008)
The next South Korean horror film titled “Death Bell” setting in the background in the school, where the story of a test that takes a victim. If anyone can not answer the test then there will be students that are going to be killed.
The film that was released in 2008 ago is quite successful because it is packaged well and the story is very interesting with the unexpected ending. No wonder Death Bell is one of the best-selling horror movies in South Korea. The story take quite big turn in exposing the plot which is very ingenious and careful plan from the director.
5Whispering Corridors (1998)
This is a phenomenal film that has inspired many horror stories that took on background in girls’ schools. Rumors are circulating that a dead student is haunting the school. Rumors grew stronger when one of their teachers was found dead, but the Terror does not stop there. More and more people are killed in mysterious ways. What exactly happened in this school?
4A Tale of Two Sister (2003)
Korean horror film titled “A Tale of Two Sister” is based on South Korean folklore “Janghwa Hongryeon jeon”. The film was released in 2003, the story plot focuses on two sisters called Bae Su mi and Bae Su yeon.
Bae Su mi and Bae Su yeon are two older sisters who spend their time in a mental hospital and when they return home, they are greeted by their very cruel stepmother.
While living with their stepmother, many awkward and rather spooky events keeps on happening in their lives like terrible dreams, mysterious voices, even ghostly apparitions of ghosts.
3Train to Busan (2016)
Train to Busan proves that Korean Movie Industry does not only hinge on K-Drama alone to become popular in the world, Korean horror-thriller genre can be in demand by people all over the world. The film tells of the zombie involving the main character, Seok-Woo who plans to go to Busan with his daughter, Su-An, by riding on KTX (South Korean hyper fast train).
One of the train passengers was infected and turned into a zombie. Since then, most of the train passengers have become zombies. Seok-Woo must protect his daughter and himself in the midst of passenger train that has become a zombie. Not to mention the station was already infected by this zombie outbreak. They have to survive to get to Busan, the only place that is free from zombie virus infection.
2The Wailing (2016)
Korean horror film has a unique story plot and not typical cinematography, just like this exceptional movie, The Wailing. Through this film we are invited to participate in “thinking” and trying to solve the criminal cases that have element of horror.
The story centers on a village where all the inhabitants know each other. However, there is a young incomer in this village who likes to be alone and mysterious. Shortly after the young man’s arrival, the villagers were struck by a strange epidemic.
The police claimed that the outbreak was caused by a wild mushroom, but the villagers suspected that the youths were the ones who caused the outbreak of the disease. A policeman who leads the investigation, Jong-goo, initially did not believe until one day his daughter acted strangely and experienced the disease. Inevitably Jong-goo reopened the case and suspected the young incomer.
1I Saw The Devil (2010)
I Saw The Devil is a movie by Kim Ji-woon and starring veteran actor Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun. The film is filled with brutal scenes and super sadistic reel that led to the process of censorship had to cut many scenes in order to be granted the censorship and can be aired in the cinema in several countries. For those unfamiliar with the horror genre that is filled with gore scenes, you should not have to force yourself to watch this movie.
Themed retaliation, the premise of I Saw The Devil might sound pretty standard. But in the hands of Kim Ji Woon, I Saw The Devil changed from a gore film that was brutal and full of blood, into a sadistic movie with a stylish artistic touch. The dog-cat scene, but in a sadistic version that definitely makes you hard to sit-sweet when you watch this masterpiece.
That’s the top 20 best Korean horror/thriller of all time (up to 2017). If you know some creeping movies that should be included in the list, make sure to tell us on comments below.